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Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy attends MARCHA caucus meeting


The youth drama team shares a witness during opening worship for the MARCHA meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. From left are: Saul Montiel, Jonathan Ramos and Aarendy Gomez

Young Latino Methodists are eager to take the church’s message into the world and be advocates for change, a youth leader said.

“We are active people; we want to have a voice, to have a presence,” said Freddy Bermudez Jr., a college student and member of San Pablo United Methodist Church in Waukegan, Ill. Young people want to work for God and make a difference outside of the church, he said. “The youth can’t sit still,” he declared.

The large contingent of MARCHA Youth focused on leadership and outreach to bring positive changes to their communities. Some of the participants are students at the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) Midwest, an organization that received a Peace With Justice Sunday grant this year. The Academy received $5,000. College students worked with HYLA staff members to organize Hispanic/Latino youths and young adults to develop a curriculum to help address concerns for just immigration policy and practices in line with the United Methodist Social Principles. Thanks to your offering on Peace With Justice Sunday, these young people are gaining leadership skills and getting their voices heard.

The youth are also organizing an immersion visit to the southwestern United States to understand better what immigrants experience when crossing the desert.


Freddy Bermudez Jr., co-chairperson of MARCHA Youth, says young people see the church as multicultural

The young people energized the annual meeting of MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans). Speakers emphasized the need to engage young people as well as to break through racial and economic barriers to reach those who are marginalized in society.

That call resonated with Bermudez, co-chairperson of MARCHA Youth. He believes God has called him to do more than what he does in his local church. “There is much to be done outside of the church in the communities,” he said in an interview. Freddy Bermudez Jr., co-chairperson of MARCHA Youth, says young people see the church as multicultural.

The National Plan for Hispanic Ministry mentors and supports young people who participate in MARCHA Youth. The interaction offered “a good time for Hispanic youth to have the opportunity to learn about the work and techniques for leadership in community development,” said Dionisio Salazar, Global Ministries’ executive for Hispanic/Latino Ministries at Global Ministries.

Funding for Peace With Justice grants comes from a churchwide Special Sunday offering taken by local churches on Peace with Justice Sunday, celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. It is one of six churchwide Special Sundays of The United Methodist Church. Annual (regional) conferences keep 50 percent of the offerings and the remaining funds are used for Peace with Justice grants administered by the General Board of Church and Society.

--adapted from a UMNS story by Amanda Bachus, director of Spanish Resource Ministries, UMCom

Please give generously. You can give anytime during the year. Make check payable to your local church and note “Peace With Justice Offering or give online, click here. ”Your gift offers The United Methodist Church a voice in advocating for peace and justice at home and around the world. Open the door to Justice. To get involved, you can contact the Peace with Justice Coordinator in your annual conference. Together, we can work together for a faithful and loving world for all and bring hope for our future.

Downloadable Resources

2012 Peace With Justice Sunday Bulletin Insert - PDF format

2012 Peace With Justice Sunday Mini Poster (8 1/2 x 11) - PDF format 

2012 Peace With Justice Sunday Large Poster (11 x 17) - PDF format 

2012 Special Sundays Combo Mini Posterw/Dates (8 1/2 x 11) - PDF format 

Peace With Justice Sunday Children's Sermon - PDF format 

Peace With Justice LOGO - EPS format 

Peace With Justice Sunday Litany - Band-Aids are Not Enough! - PDF format

Peace With Justice Sunday Sermon - Band-Aids are Not Enough! - PDF format 

2009-2012 Special Sundays Pastors' Guide PDF
Here's a guide that contains all the resources and ideas to help you promote the Special Sundays. This guide includes Talking points, sermon starters, children sermons, and much more.  

Peace With Justice Sunday Worship Graphics (includes "Read Me' files):

PWJ Sundays Worship Graphics Main Screen - PDF Version
PWJ Sundays Worship Graphics Screen 1 customizable - PhotoShop Version
PWJ Sundays Worship Graphics Screen 2 customizable - PhotoShop Version
PWJ Sundays Worship Graphics Screen 3 customizable - PhotoShop Version
PWJ Sundays Worship Graphics Screen 4 customizable - PhotoShop Version

Peace With Justice Sunday Powerpoint Presentation
Use this PowerPoint in training classes, seminars or anywhere you want to explain the Peace With Justice Sunday.  

How to Promote Peace With Justice Sunday

Peace With Justice Sunday Sermon Starter - PDF format

Peace With Justice Sunday Conflict Mineral FAQ

Peace With Justice Sunday Worship Resources PDF format 

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